Marie Takes On Head Of Religious Education Role
Marie Sadler has been appointed Head of Religious Education for 2023. We sat down with Marie to better understand her background, who inspires her, and what she hopes to bring to the role. You might be surprised by what you read!
What did your career look like prior to working at Santa Maria College?
Prior to working at Santa Maria College, I had a range of careers. After completing my Masters in Marine and Fisheries Science at Aberdeen University in Scotland, I worked as a marine biologist and later moved into the field of policy and legislation, working as a food hygiene policy advisor for the Scottish government. I then moved to the United States and worked as a primary school science teacher in Louisiana. This role allowed me to combine my passion for science with my interest in teaching. I found it to be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. I had found my vocation.
After moving to Perth, I completed my Graduate Diploma in Education at Notre Dame University and gained valuable experience at South Fremantle Senior High School and Seton Catholic College before joining the teaching staff at Santa Maria College. My previous teaching experience helped me develop a strong foundation in pedagogy and curriculum design and a deep appreciation for the importance of building positive relationships with students and creating supportive and inclusive learning environments. My career has been characterised by a willingness to explore new fields and pursue opportunities that align with my interests and values. I am excited to continue this journey at Santa Maria College and contribute my skills and experience to this school community.
What inspired you to become a Religious Education teacher?
I grew up in an Irish Catholic family so religion has always been a very important part of my life. I am passionate about education and believe that teaching is a deeply meaningful and rewarding profession that allows me to positively impact young people’s lives. I am drawn to the field of religious education because it provides an opportunity to explore important questions about meaning, purpose, and the human condition and can help students develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
I am inspired by the ways in which religion can provide a framework for understanding the human experience, addressing questions of meaning and purpose, and fostering personal growth and development. As a religion teacher, I am passionate about helping students explore their faith traditions and beliefs and encouraging them to think critically and reflectively about their experiences and perspectives. Whether through classroom discussions, research investigations, or retreats, I believe that the study of religion can be an enriching and transformative experience that provides opportunities for spiritual development and can also help students to develop critical skills such as research, analysis, interpretation, reflection, empathy, discernment, and communication.
Why did you apply for the role of Head of Religious Education?
The role allowed me to work in a dynamic, supportive environment that values academic excellence and personal growth. I was also excited about the opportunity to lead a very successful team of dedicated religious educators and contribute to the school’s mission of providing a high-quality education that prepares students for success in their academic and personal lives. This role was also ideal for further developing my skills, experience, and interests in a supportive, professional environment. I was eager to contribute my talents and passion to this critical role.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have had many sources of inspiration, including my teachers, who instilled in me a love of learning. In addition, I have been and continue to be inspired by the many talented and dedicated educators and staff members I work with. Their commitment to their students, their creativity and passion for teaching, and their dedication and professionalism have motivated me and reminded me of the transformative power of education.
My students also have been and continue to be a source of inspiration. Seeing the growth and development of each student over a school year and knowing that I have played a small part in shaping their future is an enriching experience.
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church, also inspires me. He is known for his humble demeanour, commitment to social justice, and emphasis on mercy and compassion. His qualities and actions have made him a huge source of inspiration, and I am excited to visit the Vatican in July.
What do you hope to bring to the Head of Religious Education role?
I hope to bring a strong understanding of the Catholic faith and a commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive approach to religious education at Santa Maria College. I believe that the role involves leading and supporting the religious education team in developing and delivering high-quality religious education programs and ensuring that the school’s curriculum meets all students’ needs. Additionally, I aim to foster a positive and respectful learning environment for all students and promote religious literacy and critical thinking skills.
What do you like to do in your downtime when you’re not at work?
I enjoy various activities that allow me to relax and unwind. One of my favourite pastimes is reading, I love getting immersed in good books and enjoy being a member of two book clubs. I also enjoy travelling and discovering new places and cultures. I am currently planning a trip back to Ireland in July and am particularly excited to spend six days in Rome with my eldest daughter who is currently studying in Europe.
Spending time with family and friends is also a priority for me. I love chatting, exploring new places, walking on the beach, swimming, and photographing. Engaging in activities that I enjoy and spending time with people I care about helps me to recharge and feel energised and is essential to my overall well-being.
Thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, Marie. We look forward to seeing where you take this role and the tremendous impact you will have on our girls as they navigate their faith.